Teenage killer could face life in jail after being shopped to the police by his mother


Killer: Terrence Gaskin felled his victim with a single punch

A teenager who killed a man could face a life sentence after he was turned in by his mother.

Police initially believed that the victim, Kenneth Turnbull, had collapsed in the street after a night out and decided his death was not suspicious, a court heard.

But the next day, Terence Gaskin, 18, confessed to his mother, telling her he had killed a man after punching him once in the face.

Appalled, she phoned police - and soon after Gaskin was arrested and charged with murder.

Mr Turnbull, 51, a self-employed kitchen fitter, was unconscious on a footpath outside a pub when police found him.

An officer tried to resuscitate him, then called an ambulance. But Mr Turnbull was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the post mortem examination, the father of four had died of a brain haemorrhage. As there were no signs of violence, police decided his death was not suspicious.

But Gaskin told his mother Wendy Hutchinson that he had punched Mr Turnbull in the street, outside the White Lion, in Darwen, Lancashire. 'The afternoon after the attack, Gaskin went to his mother's house and confessed he had killed somebody,' said Detective Chief Inspector Neil Hunter, after the case at Preston Crown Court.

'She was appalled by her son's behaviour. She rang police who had started to put two and two together. It was very public-spirited of her to do this.'

CCTV showed Mr Turnbull walking home alone after a meal at an Indian restaurant with friends in August last year. Gaskin approached him and hit him once in the face.

Seconds later, as Gaskin and two friends stood over Mr Turnbull, a police patrol car pulled up but the gang pretended they were concerned bystanders.


Victim: Kenneth Turnbull was walking home after a night out with friends when he was attacked by Gaskin

Mr Hunter added: 'This was an unprovoked attack on a harmless middle-aged male, who was minding his own business and making his way home after a night out, by a young man who had consumed far too much alcohol.

'Gaskin's behaviour was reprehensible and disgraceful for which he should be thoroughly ashamed. Sadly it highlights the perils of drinking far too much alcohol.'

Gaskin's mother said: 'I contacted the police when my son told me what happened. He said it was an accident. My son is not a killer.'

Mr Turnbull's family said in a statement: 'Ken was tragically taken from his family and his death has left us all devastated and ripped apart. He will be remembered by all of us as a hard worker who always lived life to the full, which he did to the very end.'

Gaskin, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, was warned he faces custody. He will be sentenced next month.

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